The assistance of the Canadian Studies Center was completely invaluable in the successful completion of my Graduate Program. As my research focuses on the Canadian Arctic, travel to the area was integral to conducting fieldwork and collecting data about social networking among the Inuit. When beginning this project, I had very little knowledge of the language of Inuktitut and very few contacts among the Inuit and the Canadian government. Thanks to several Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships awarded through the Center, I was offered the singular opportunity to study Inuktitut and prepare for extended fieldwork in the North. Having knowledge of the language was doubtless the single most important aspect of my communicative and cultural journey North: speaking Inuktitut opened doors of friendship and research opportunity that would have been otherwise inaccessible. A Canadian Embassy Graduate Fellowship enabled payment for the flights up to the Tundra: especially important considering that these flights are some of the most expensive in the world. Meetings with the Avataq Inuit Cultural Attachés in Ottawa, members of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and even interviews with Inuit mayors: so many of these experiences and opportunities were facilitated by the Canadian Studies Center here at the University of Washington in general, and by the tireless and stellar assistance of Associate Director, Nadine Fabbi in particular.
After the unforgettable experiences living with an Inuit family and conducting a survey in Inukjuaq, the Center continued its support of my efforts in analyzing the data and preparing the manuscript. Many drafts of the writing were proofed by the Center and committee and numerous suggestions were offered, ensuring that the information written corresponded with the latest Canadian research and development.
My dissertation was successfully defended in August, and over the past two months I have been working with professional editors ensuring the best possible document. I am humbled and exhilarated to report that my dissertation was officially accepted by the Graduate School of the University of Washington this past Wednesday, September 24 at 2:00 pm. I would like to thank Nadine Fabbi and Program Chair of Canadian Studies, Daniel Hart, for their unflagging support of this extended and ambitious project: without their help none of it would have been possible. I would also like to thank my Advisor Professor Anthony Chan, Communication (and Affiliated Faculty of Canadian Studies), now Associate Dean of the Department of Communication at the University of Ontatio Institute of Technology, who participated in the Doctoral Defense via teleconferencing – with facilities that were made available through a Center grant.
The past four years have been a deeply important personal and professional journey for me, and I would like to thank the Department of Communication, and the Canadian Studies Center, for their unflagging support of my efforts. The feeling upon having the manuscript accepted was indescribable and I am deeply grateful for all those who have supported me during this endeavor. Mille fois merci- Nakurmiik!